This name of this blog feature was inspired by my husband, the lovely @nth_sheep on Twitter. While there are many blog posts which give you first impressions on shows in general, this post will give you some impressions of the anime fashions which I have seen in this Summer season. I’ve only highlighted shows I’ve checked out where the clothing is interesting, this is not complete coverage of all series I have sampled. It’s time for the Pasta-chan Check!
A Centaur’s Life
This series seems to be really grounded for a series featuring fantasy creatures, and as such it seems to have some sensible ideas about how different types of creatures could wear human fashions. I liked seeing the slits in the back of tops (they look like they may be large buttonholes) for wings, the tail-warmers for merfolk, and just the general variety of adaptations for different body types. I honestly would have expected clothing choices to vary more in line with the different species, but it seems like on the whole people of this world wear things very similar to modern human fashions.
The biggest question of all, maybe a manga reader can help me out here. How do centaur pants work? It’s not that I think that giving a four-legged creature pants is impossible, it’s just that there seems to be no obvious fastenings in order for the pants to work. I’d expect them to perhaps go over the top like a blanket and then zip up at the bottom, but there doesn’t seem to be a zipper or other opening there. While some fabrics would perhaps stretch adequately in order to go over the full centaur body and not require extra fastenings, school uniforms appear to be fitted and would need an extra opening to go on.
Magic Circle Guru Guru
This very silly fantasy anime has some very standard fantasy clothing. The characters in general seem to have pretty typical JRPG clothing, with some bright colours bringing life to the outfits. Kukuri wears a basic black smock which is hard-wearing, doesn’t show the dirt, and also definitely suggests mage. Nike has a linen shirt and trousers which are maybe a bit harder to keep clean, but also evoke the fantasy setting. Clothing designs seem to be fairly simple and lack any major ornamentation or trimmings. While historical mediaeval or middle age societies didn’t have the ability to produce bright dyes in large quantities (there’s a reason why purple is considered the colour of royalty), it’s quite possible that the colours are far more achievable in the fantasy society. If nothing else, the hand waving ‘it’s magic’ explanation probably holds water.
I love watching anime set in a particular time period, if only to think about how the clothing is almost invariably inaccurate for the time period specified. Princess Principal seems to be set in alternate 1910s, but the fashions have fairly strong late Victorian influences. I’d suggest that the silhouette and designs more closely align with those seen around 1880-1890. It is a steampunk setting, so I don’t expect perfect accuracy, but I definitely enjoy seeing Victorian-inspired outfits.
We get a shot of the characters’ underwear in the first episode. I will give the creators props for thus far not perpetuating the myth that corsetry is uncomfortable and excessive, but I do think that the line of this corset doesn’t match the prevailing silhouette of the time, or the line of the clothing. It looks a lot more like modern overbust designs. The bust line is pretty rounded, whereas a unibust was far more common at the time. Also, no clothing has a defined crease under the breasts unless there is some kind of seam there to make this happen. The characters do seem to be wearing a petticoat or chemise underneath the corset which is period-appropriate and fairly necessary for regular wear. It’s very difficult to clean a garment containing either steel boning or whalebone (whalebone is actually baleen, the bits which whales use to filter their food), and the petticoat helps stop the corset from getting sweaty, dirty, or smelly, and is a lot easier to wash. Drawers with a drawstring were also pretty common in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. It would also be common to wear an additional petticoat on top of the corset, though we don’t see this happen here.
While the underwear seems to not be too inaccurate, the outwear is very much more ‘inspired’ by period fashions as opposed to referencing them. Lacing tended to be reserved for underwear, so having clothing with external lacing is unusual. Clothing above the ankle is also unusual for young women, as this didn’t really take hold until the 1920s. While girls wore shorter dresses, by the late teens, longer dresses were pretty standard. I’m disappointed that we don’t get to see more great period hats, and instead the characters have their hair down. Hats as a fashion accessory are sadly missing from the world today, and this would have been a great chance to see cute hat fashions.
We don’t see a lot of men’s fashion (although there is a very stylish chicken), but the 3-piece suit is pretty standard for the period and honestly much of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In a sense, this is a bit of a let-down as with the creative female character clothing designs, there could have been a bit more done with the male clothing to give it that steampunk feeling (period anime clothing will probably never make me happy as I wish for both accuracy and innovation which are mutually exclusive).
While the plot of this series could go either way, I do find myself rather entranced by the clothing choices.
Restaurant To Another World
I have to draw attention to Aletta’s gorgeous hat. It has a similar style to a newsboy cap, but has been tailored with additional space to cover her horns. It looks warm, practical, and easy to wear. I like hats. With the series having such a broad scope owing to the different fantasy worlds that the restaurant connects to, I’m hoping to see a variety of different outfits, and not just armour and ren-faire inspired fantasy clothing. Clothing which has a specific period inspiration is far more interesting than merely having a general ‘fantasy’ feeling to it.
Did you see any interesting fashions that I missed? Would you like to hear me ramble about period-inspired clothing in other anime series for thousands of words? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!